Family photographs strewn carelessly underfoot,
while needlessly complicated music plays through
floorboards. “He loves the wrist breaking chords
the best,” you say, stepping on a photo of aunt Nancy
wearing her Sunday best (which was never good enough),
always in floral patterns and high waist, belted dresses,
shoulder pads making her athlete strong, Trapped
in nineteen eighty six, gigantic glasses and purple
eye shadow, like bruises, like sunset stripped dreams.
I am low on drink, a clanking of ice cubes and I swallow
the rest, rinsing out what remains of an unexpected
kiss, tongue-tipped and tormenting. I want more.
Instead, you give me watered down words –
Fear and Regret-Even if your pupils tell a different story-
dilated, sucking in light, emptying, darkening down
the room-“Sometimes, he plays all afternoon. Songs
I don’t know, with intoxicating precision,” flopping
to the floor, marker in hand, crossing out the eyes
from pictures, “he calls me Debbie when he sees me.
I hate it,” and you will write it all down on scraps
of over-used paper, misunderstood as usual, which
is not your fault, while I pick skin near damaged
cuticles with my teeth, bitten-too-short nails an afterthought,
like after shave lotion, like dry toasted afternoons.
They all bleed in bright red trickles to the floor,
where you sit among the fabricated memories.
Moving your lips as you count them off one after another.